Ten minutes later, Matthew Wickfield arrived at the eighth floor of Hogwarts Castle, his mind focused on his destination. He quickly located a tapestry depicting “Barnabas the Barmy teaching the trolls ballet.”

The way to open the room was to walk past it three times while thinking about what one needed, and the door would appear if Matthew remembered correctly.

This was the legendary “Room of Requirement,” a remarkable space that appeared when a Hogwarts student truly needed it.

It had been on Matthew’s mind since his first day at the school, but he had suppressed his desire to seek it out.

The room’s location was hidden within Hogwarts, known to only a select few students and teachers.

As a Muggle-born freshman, Matthew had discovered it early on, but he didn’t want to arouse suspicion by venturing there too soon.

After spending a month at Hogwarts, Matthew felt the time was right. He approached the window at one end of the white wall, turned back, and repeated the sequence three times.

With narrowed eyes and concentrated thoughts, he whispered, “I need a library!”

On his final turn, a smooth door appeared on the wall, and Matthew opened it effortlessly. Stepping inside, he found himself in a clean, spacious room with polished floors, mahogany bookshelves, and neatly arranged rows of books.

The air carried the faint scent of aging pages, and torches illuminated the space, brighter than the underground classrooms.

A smile formed on Matthew’s face as he clenched his fist. He had succeeded in accessing the Room of Requirement.

Matthew walked among the bookshelves, gently touching the spines of the various books.

Though the library within the Room of Requirement wasn’t as extensive as the real Hogwarts Library, it offered access to banned books and texts from the restricted section.

He contemplated spending more time in this secret library, where he could peruse forbidden knowledge not readily available elsewhere.

Matthew thought to himself, “Perhaps I could spend more time here in the future.”

The only downside was the distance from the Slytherin common room to the eighth floor, where the Room of Requirement is located.

As Matthew explored the shelves dedicated to Defense Against the Dark Arts and Fantastic Beasts, he came across information about blood-sucking magical creatures.

He discovered that there were sixteen species with blood-sucking abilities, including Vampires, Balkan Werewolves, and Dominatrix.

Some information about hybrids of magical creatures and wizards also retained their blood-sucking instincts.

While researching, Matthew stumbled upon a peculiar finding. Unicorns possessed blood with strong magical properties that could restore a weakened wizard’s strength or prolong the life of a dying wizard. Unicorns were extremely rare, and there was only one population in the Forbidden Forest of Hogwarts.

This made Matthew remember the moment Voldemort possessed Quirell. He recovered part of his power by drinking the blood of a Unicorn.

This revelation made Matthew reconsider the attack on Ron Weasley. Perhaps the assailant wasn’t a vampire but a wizard seeking power or immortality by drinking blood.

As Matthew pondered the incident, he realized there were numerous unanswered questions. Why had the attacker targeted Ron, whose blood doesn’t have any magical properties of a Unicorn?

If the attacker simply wants to satiate their bloodlust, why would they go to the Trophy Room, where there are three students and a dog?

Why didn’t they come to Matthew, who was alone at the time instead…

If the attacker wants to get rid of Weasley because he has seen something he shouldn’t see, then why leave Grabbe and Goyle unconscious?

Perhaps the attacker has some unfinished business with the Weasley family?

Matthew entertained various possibilities but found most of them unreliable.

He hoped the attack on Ron Weasley had been a mere diversion meant to redirect attention away from the true intentions of the attacker.

This would suggest a lower likelihood of a third attack and provide some reassurance that the lives of others at Hogwarts were not in immediate danger.

Lost in thought, Matthew realized that more than half an hour had passed inside the Room of Requirement.

With less than fifteen minutes until his Defense Against the Dark Arts class.

He carefully returned the books to their original positions and exited the responsive room.

However, before leaving, he noticed an empty bookshelf, a stark contrast to the others filled with neatly arranged books.

Intrigued by the sight of the empty bookshelf amidst the fully stocked ones, Matthew’s curiosity got the better of him. He leaned closer to get a better look at the peculiar sight.

The bookshelf wasn’t entirely empty; instead, there lay a single book on the middle shelf, it’s cover delicate, the pages yellowed with age—an old book that felt strangely familiar to him.

Matthew’s eyes narrowed as he recognized the book, “Long time no see!” he greeted the book.

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Published On: July 13, 2023

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